15 Aug 2002

Renewed efforts in PNG to complete MP choice

3:45 pm on 15 August 2002

Papua New Guinea's new Minister of Inter Government Services, Sir Peter Barter, wants to ensure that MPs from the six undeclared Southern Highlands electorates can take their seats in parliament as soon as possible.

The six electorates may have supplementary elections after the count was called off last month because of fraud and violence.

Last week, community leaders in the Southern Highlands province issued an ultimatum to the government that it would secede from PNG unless the six leading candidates in the poll were declared the winners.

They said they feared a fresh poll would lead to more violence.

Sir Peter has said finding a resolution to the problem is one of his first tasks and will visit Southern Highlands next week.